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This question is akin to Benefits of Boomerang Enchantment on Items and covers the Rubberizing Enchantment.

When an item kills a Plop, a slime-type monster that looks like a glob of sludge with a big, toothy mouth and four flail-like stalks atop its head, that item is promptly altered by the Plop's released magic. This alteration is the Rubberization enchantment, and it is kind of sucky.

When something is Rubberized, it becomes tough but flexible. Take your typical rock; solid and unbending right? Once Rubberized, it'll be firm but springy, sort of like a tennis ball, and it'll bounce. An iron ingot would bend, flex, and deform akin to a pool noodle. Basically, rigidity is decreased while tensile strength is increased. The harder the item was, the more flexible it'll become after being Rubberized.

My problem is that this is (most likely) useless for anything an adventurer would use it for. Rubberized Armor would likely fit better, but it'll also yield when struck, so it's too flexible to be feasible (Ex: silk is yielding, so yielding that when a blade hits it it will conform to the blade and cut you!). Rubberized weapons would have low rigidity, so swords and spears (any cutting weapon really) would fail.

Bludgeoning weapons could still work, but since they have decreased hardness (meaning rigidity) I'm not sure how effective they'll be. So my question is: What Weapons Would Benefit From the Rubberizing Enchantment?

Clarification:

  1. By weapon, I mean an item that can kill a Plop. Plops are essentially video game slimes, so the closest IRL analog is slugs. So the item in question has to be capable of: crushing (crushing a Plop is difficult, they'd just slip out from a dropped anvil like a pea from a pod), frying, incinerating, dissolving, dehydrating, smothering, slicing, or pulping a Plop.
  2. Flexible items gain greater flexibility (or tensile strength) upon being Rubberized. Hard items gain tensile strength proportional to their former rigidity and vice versa; a rock will be more flexible than a rubber band after being Rubberized.
  3. Only organic or steel items (because steel contains carbon, which is generally organic in origin) can be Rubberized. There has to be proximity for the item to be enchanted; a coat wrapped around a club, if used to splat a Plop, would be Rubberized along with the club, but if one shot a Plop, only the arrow would be Rubberized.
  4. The tech level is medieval, specifically between European technology between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Renaissance. Plops are like rats; they exist out in nature, but their numbers are much higher in villages, towns, and cities (lack of sanitation+higher populations=high amounts of edible refuse).

Criteria for Best Answer (same as in linked question):

  1. The best answer will start with a basic summary of how useful this Enchantment would be on items in general, specifically items that can be used to kill the slimy, rubbery slug-like glob of malevolence that is a Plop.
  2. The best answer will cover where this enchantment would be most beneficial; ie. which items would be best benefited by this enchantment. By items, I mean weapons, armor, valuables, and perhaps miscellaneous objects (things you'd find around the house).
  3. The best answer will cover #1 and #2 thoroughly.

You have my thanks for your input and feedback, I really do appreciate it! If you choose to VTC or down-vote, please give me an explanation so I can fix this question and better contribute to this site in the future.

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    $\begingroup$ I won't VTC but I'll give feedback. You are asking us to use our imaginations to choose from a potentially infinite list of things. The people on this site are not short of imagination, but I'm sure you aren't either. You know things we don't. For example, is an adventurer likely to carry a grand piano around with them or could they drop one out of a window? We don't know when the action is taking place or the level of technology. There are many other gaps I can think of so IMHO you need to ask a less open question., e.g. I kill the Plop with an axe - is the axe good for anything afterwards? $\endgroup$ – chasly - supports Monica Feb 23 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ If I wrap a coat around a club and club a slime to death do I get a rubberized coat? $\endgroup$ – John Feb 24 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ @John: good question! That's a viable way to enchant two items. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 24 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ If I shoot a plop with a bow, does that make the arrow rubber or the bow? $\endgroup$ – Erik Feb 24 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ The arrow; there has to be close proximity for the enchantment to be granted. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 24 at 17:47
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You're forgetting the waterproofing qualities of rubber

Your in a medieval setting, you don't have great waterproofing tech. Silicon beads are centuries away. Roofs leak, shoes are soggy after a day working in the mud, water storage is difficult as everything leaks, water transportation is difficult as everything leaks.

  • Step on two slugs, one under each shoe, and now your shoes are gloriously rubberised and repel the water. Your no longer going to get trench foot in the field.
  • Build a tank out of steel. Smush a slug with it, and then put that rubber tank inside a slightly larger steel tank. Now you have a lined rubber tank that will not leak or contaminate your water. You can now transport water by horse and cart, allowing people to live further away from water sources.
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  • $\begingroup$ My goodness, I really should have thought of that, THANK YOU for saving me from that blunder! $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 24 at 3:49
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Unless your goal is to make rubber-band guns...

This is a great natural defense. No one would use their best sword or favorite spear to kill a plop (once this consequence was known). What would be the point? This defense always reduces a superior weapon to an inferior weapon. Rubber swords are probably useless even for training as their length would lead to quick degradation of the rubber (aka, they break). So, unless you think rubber-band guns are valuable, there is no weapon I can think of that would be a practical or beneficial result of wasting a perfectly good and most likely better weapon to get it.

But... you just invented the Rubber Plop Plantation Cottage Industry!

On the other hand, there's lots of useful things that can be done with rubber. You can make tires, coat the handles of tools, create safety barricades... The list goes on. So what you really have is the source of rubber that doesn't require rubber plants.

But you could use the idea of the banana republics in your story. Whole cities focused on the domestication and death of plops for the sole purpose of producing rubber. What kind of rubber you need would dictate the type of material used to kill the plop. All of this is run, of course, by a power-hungry corporate boss because the secret of rubber production is a Guild Privilege.

Nevertheless, the simple answer to your question is... none.

Even if the enchantment only coated the object with rubber (rather than completely converting it to rubber, which is how I read your question), there's very little practical value to the enchantment from the perspective of "what could an adventurer do with the rubberized object to forward the adventure?" I could see the value of rubberized armor... but if you have to kill the plot with the armor to get it coated with rubber... it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "belly flop."

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer! I didn't think of how useful rubber is in general, and the "Plop Republic" idea is interesting. I did, however, suspect this enchantment was useless; it might only be good for making iron bars into cables, which could be used to make metal rope. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 23 at 16:33
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    $\begingroup$ You skirted near something useful with a "rubber band gun". Conceivably you could use your new rubberized material as a tension store for more traditional projectile weapons, such as bows. crossbows, or larger mounted siege weapons. "Higher quality" elastics might be made available with this technique. $\endgroup$ – abestrange Feb 23 at 20:50
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You've got to review your notions about armor. Being rigid isn't the only thing that makes armor good. Also, have you ever actually used one of those blue and red erasers? That stuff is hard to cut and if you could make a half-inch thick suit of that stuff you'd have quite the protection against stabbing!

And to this day, rubber is used for gloves and boots to make them resistant to some kinds of damage. Latex items are generally more resistant to abrasion and friction as well. So you can enchant leather or metal gloves and boots, they will keep most of the properties they have while being easier to put on and more comfortable.

Also, rubberize a staff and it becomes a whip. That is a very vicious kind of weapon, which is a hassle to parry. It also adds both insult and injury to already existing insult and injury should it hit bare flesh.

In fact there was a weapon like that in ancient India. It is called urumi and this is what you would get if you enchanted a longsword with rubberizing. In some forms they also put multiple blades in the same hilt.

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  • $\begingroup$ Whoa, I had no idea rubber could be so useful, or that Rubberized weapons could be useful! Thanks! As a side note, an urumi-wielding character would result in very interesting combat.... $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 23 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ Also rubber would be useful for reinforcing the joints of the armor with something tough yet flexible. $\endgroup$ – Daron Feb 24 at 14:56
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    $\begingroup$ rubber as armor itself will not protect for slashing or stabbing, but start with something light weight and it will make great padding for armor. start with a bag full of clubs, club slimes, sell rubberized clubs to armor maker. a better use for a staff is to make bungee cords. $\endgroup$ – John Feb 24 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ @John I'd say that depends on the type of rubber and the thickness. I wouldn't want to swordfight someone wearing a car-tire as armor! Though I wouldn't want to wear one either (those things are heavy). $\endgroup$ – Daron Feb 24 at 16:05
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    $\begingroup$ @DaronI the main thing that gives tires their strength is the steel wire imbedded in it. by itself tire rubber will not stop a sharp blade. $\endgroup$ – John Feb 24 at 22:19
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Modern Vulcanised Rubber Boots.

Design a boot with a 2 inch thick wooden sole. Use it to stamp a plop to death. The wood turns into vulcanised rubber, and you carve out "teeth" like a modern military boot.

Bam! Footware that is waterproof, hard-wearing, needs little maintenance, does not rot, and is all-terrain. The most important piece of kit in a medieval adventurer's arsenal.

For comparison medieval leather flat soles are garbage on muddy terrain. It is easy to fall over, especially in the heat of a swordfight. This can be fixed by adding hobnails, but this makes the boots garbage on hard terrain such as flagstones. Again it's easy to slip and fall over.

The rubber boot sole has none of these problems -- you are not at constant risk of falling over if you need to run from one surface onto the other, for example in the middle of a fight.

Another advantage is you don't need to clean your muddly boots between adventures. Leave a pair of leather boots covered in mud and they will soon rot away. Not true for rubber soles at all.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very good point on adventuring footwear, thank you! Since Plop are common monsters, this would be quite a good way to upgrade one's footwear, or to make wooden clogs more comfortable...=) $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 24 at 15:25
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Why kill something so valuable?

I'm afraid that with the qualities you described, the Plops are soon to become a strategic resource that must be gathered and stored instead of senselessly killing them:

The other way around - weaponizing the Plops.

Getting through a fortifications is a hassle. As well as going through the armor of a knight. Plops provide a nice solution to this issue, since the enchantment affects everything in proximity of the deceased Plop:

Walls:

  1. Take a ballista bolt and a small-size Plop.
  2. Put the Plop into a container
  3. Affix the container to the ballista bolt's tip.
  4. Hit the wall near it's base. The bolt will crush the Plop against the wall. The Plop will then rubberify both the bolt(which would shatter anyway) and a section of the wall.
  5. Repeat until enough of the wall is rubbery
  6. Watch in amusement as the pliable rubber fails to support the weight of the wall which then crumbles.

If the wall is too thick:

  1. Take as big of a Plop as you can find that you can still load into a trebuchet.
  2. Insert a stone into the Plop. It will likely take a while to digest.
  3. Launch the Plop against the wall The stone inside will do for a nice plop against the wall. The radius of rubberification should be sufficient for most purposes.
  4. Profit.

Armored knights:

Arrows have a notoriously hard time of going through the armor of a knight. They have even hard time going through layered enough cloth. To remedy the cloth-issues, the tips of the arrows were sometimes waxed.

What if we could instead of maybe hitting an enemy into a weak spot use our archers to remove the armors of the enemy? The idea is same as above, only the size of the Plop would me much smaller this time. Since the tip of the arrow would get rubberized as well, the arrow itself wouldn't do much. However the armor with rubberized, pliable spots would suddenly be less useful - which would spell trouble since you rarely shoot just one volley during a battle.
Or if you had a good enough construction techniques, you could do a segmented arrow with two tips. First would serve to "apply" the Plop, while the second would use the rest of the kinetic energy to proceed through the rubberized spot. I'm not sure if this would be too feasible.

Reactive armor - letting others do the killing, while making a killing.:

Why kill the Plops when they can be so usefull?

  • Coat your armor in Plops. Affixing these might be little tricky, however some kind of pocket like system could work.
  • When someone tries to hit you with something sharp, he will pop one(or more) of the Plops.
  • Congratulations, not only you survived, you also disarmed your opponent.

Note, that since the Plops would be depleted, you also want to wear something underneath - at least a gambeson with a layer of rubber on top. Considering that enemy will lose his weapon, this should be quite ok for small fights. Might be a little tricky for the battlefield though.

The iron/steel armor is rather expensive. So much, that only the wealthy could afford that. And you are telling me, that using a vest with pockets has a similar impact on your safety?

P.S.:

As a side note - you mentioned that they can rubberify anything organic. Strictly speaking, a person is also made of organic matter. However I think that rubberifying a human is, well, inhuman so I've decided to skip a whole lot of interesting anti-personnel Plop applications.

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  • $\begingroup$ Very good answer, I didn't think of using them as weapons! A monster can only enchant an area specific to its mass, so a Plop can't do much (they can't enchant a container, a bolt, and part of a wall, only one of those), but they could be good for saboteur when shot in the right place. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 25 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ And the stone-in-the-big-plop thing? Regarding the anti-personnel applications: if you kill the plop with your fist directly, does it turn your bones into a mush? And a side note - are the other properties of the material kept or does it become rubber alltogether? (I mean mass, flameability etc?) $\endgroup$ – Shamis Feb 25 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ If you kill a Plop directly, you'll become a living ragdoll with rubbery skin, a 'gummy man' if you will. Your bones won't be mush, just flexible, like cartilage. The other properties of the material will be kept, it'll just become tough, smooth, and flexible like rubber. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 25 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ Which probably means an ugly suffocation sometimes as your ribcage is no longer suited for breathing. That is if the folding of your now pliable spine doesn't shorten your suffering. This could mean that the smallest of the Plops would make for either nasty torture device or maybe even a poison. This also raises the questions of "what happens when you re-forge rubbery steel?" kind. This could make for some interesting and possibly exciting alloys - mix rubbery steel with normal steel in a damascus-like fashion. I wonder what the result would be... $\endgroup$ – Shamis Feb 25 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias if you just targeted the base of a wall, and fired a volley of Plops targeting at 2-3 foot intervals apart... you could theoretically make several yards' worth of the base of a heavy stone wall... rubberized. I can't imagine that'd be good for the structural integrity of the wall. $\endgroup$ – Doktor J Feb 26 at 17:48
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I can think of several weapons that would be improved by replacing parts with rubber.

Nets

A gladiator's net is a weighted net that, while primarily designed for entanglement, is capable of inflicting damage when the weights themselves are used as a flail. Some gladiator nets used light chain for extra strength, either in whole or as a part of the net itself.

With the transformation types you're talking about a net made of light chain with heavy weights would become more flexible and still difficult to cut. Cutting one of the now rubberized links wouldn't cause the entire thing to unravel. The additional flexibility of the material would serve to increase the entanglement effects, and being stretchy means that a brute force attempt to break the net would be less effective as the material would tend to spread the load differently.

The weights themselves would become less deadly, but this simply opens up some new options like bounce-casting. Or you can just replace the weights with new metal or stone weights and get the original flail impact back.

Whips

This will depend on the actual properties of the material but in general more flexible is better, as long as the business end can stand up to the forces involved. After conversion you take the thong of the whip and build a new whip around it. Experimenting with various materials might produce a good rubberized substance for the fall as well.

Flails

Thus one should be obvious. Take a flail, ruberize it, then replace the heads with original metal. Maybe take the original heads off the flail and replace them with bits of wood before you rubberize it, then put the original ones back. The rubber handle is flexible but grips well and reduces transmitted impact shock.

Seige Weapons

Take a bunch of wooden staves and rubberize them. Now put them in place of the rope in a catapult's torsion mechanism. Use big chunks of softer material to add shock absorbers on your crossbar, reducing the damage the catapult does to itself when fired.

If you can find the right material you could create a new type of siege weapon based on the shanghai, or sling shot - long, elastic 'ropes' from the frame to the cup, tensioned and then released.

...and many more

Pretty much any melee weapon will benefit from the vastly improved grip of a rubber-coated handle. Make weapons out of metal tubing, rubberize with plops, then cut the tubing down and stretch over your sword hilt. Wrap bits of rubber around your bow grip. Add softer rubber sheathing on big-impact weapons to act as shock absorbers.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice! Your answer not only accounted for what weapons could be improved by Rubberiziation but explained how they would be benefited! Thanks, this is very helpful! $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 26 at 15:12

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